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Graber light filtering cellular shades in a living room.

The Best Shades and Blinds For Living Rooms

Window Treatments 101

For some, the living room is a place to host guests and entertain. For others, it’s more like a private retreat from the troubles of the world. But no matter how you use your living room, you’ll have to find some way to cover your windows to accommodate your lifestyle and needs. Blinds and shades provide privacy, control light, and even insulate against heat and cold. The right set of blinds, shades, shutters, or drapery in your living room can help you achieve the proper atmosphere for resting and relaxing or socializing and entertaining—or all of the above.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Window Treatment Variety: Explore a range of options including cellular shades, layered shades, roller and solar shades, shutters, natural shades, Roman shades, sheer shades, wood and faux wood blinds, and drapery.
  2. Factors to Consider: Evaluate window location, durability, privacy, light control, safety, and style when selecting the ideal treatment for your living room.
  3. Layer for Enhanced Control: Combine different window treatments to maximize light control, privacy, and visual appeal.
  4. Customization: Choose colors, fabrics, and styles that reflect your personal taste and enhance the mood of your living space.
  5. Expert Guidance: Collaborate with a Graber Design Expert to navigate options and ensure a seamless selection process.

Top Choices for Living Room Blinds and Shades

Cellular Shades—Elegant Beauty

 Graber cellular shades in a living room.

There are many reasons why cellular shades are some of the most popular shades in the world. The first is looks—a cellular shade has an elegant beauty that is unmatched. Another reason is functionality: a cellular shade is easy to raise, lower, and adjust and is available with UltraLite cordless lift or motorized lift. And cellular shades are outstanding insulators. The honeycomb-shaped cells that comprise a cellular shade trap air and protect against heat, cold, and even sound.

Cellular shades are available in a range of light-control and privacy levels. A sheer fabric will allow an outstanding view to the outdoors. But cellular shades are also available in blackout fabrics—perfect for living rooms that serve as home theaters or places for playing video games.

Layered Shades—A Modern Look

 Graber layered shades in a living room.

For bold lines and filtered light, layered shades are a great option for living room windows. Layered shades—sometimes called zebra shades—use alternating translucent and opaque stripes that can be adjusted to block the light. They have a modern look that fits well with minimalist décor and can create a bold statement. These aren’t the shades you’d choose if you were looking to completely darken a room, but they’re an excellent choice for most living rooms where filtered light and a fresh style are the top goals.

Learn more about layered shades from our comprehensive guide.

Roller and Solar Shades

 Graber solar shades in a living room.

The simplest, easiest-to-use shades available today are solar shades and roller shades. Solar shades are generally used in windows that receive a lot of bright sunlight—the durable solar-shade fabrics resist fading and do a great job blocking the sun while still maintaining some view to the outdoors.

Roller shades also protect against the sun, but beautiful fabric is what they’re really about. Roller shades come in a delightful array of colors and patterns, from playful to luxurious, and have the potential to become the focal point of the room. Use the roller shades’ broad color palette to select a fabric that melds with the current décor for a living room that expresses blissful harmony. Like cellular shades, solar and roller shades can be motorized to create shades that are as easy to use as they are to look at.

Shutters—Sturdy and Classic

 Graber wood shutters in a living room.

Wood and faux wood shutters never grow old. Their design is at home in most living rooms. Shutters express strength, confidence, and security. Available in a range of wood grains as well as colored finishes, shutters can perfectly align with the décor of a living room. A wood-grain finish adds a classic touch to any room. And the time-tested design blends beautifully with modern or industrial elements to help you create modern farmhouse, industrial, minimalist, and other eclectic room styles.

Natural Shades—A Touch of Natural Beauty

 Graber Natural Shades in a living room.

Bring natural beauty to your living room with natural shades. Made with wood, jute, bamboo, grasses, and rattan, natural shades are works of art. The variation that is inherent in natural materials makes each set of shades unique. Take a look at the natural-shade fabric collection and you will see a huge range of colors and textures—something for any living room. Natural shades can be paired with natural drapery for a finished look that will elevate any living room.

Roman Shades—A Living-room Favorite

 Graber classic roman shades in a living room.

Graber offers a number of different styles of Roman shades—one of the oldest of all window-treatment designs and a perennial favorite. For modern style living rooms, a classic Roman shade is an excellent option—the subdued earthtone and neutral fabrics go well with minimalist décor. Tailored Roman shades are great for living rooms where coordination is important—you have a huge selection of lush, premium fabrics to choose from, with something to match every design scheme.

Learn more about different types of roman shades from our comprehensive guide.

Sheer Shades—Delicate Look, Durable Fabric

 Graber sheer shades in a living room.

Looking for shades with a delicate touch? Sheer shades have a wonderfully delicate appearance—but they’re anything but delicate. These durable fabric blinds have fabric vanes set between too layers of sheer fabric. The result is something that operates like a set of horizontal blinds but has a graceful appearance that’s perfect for peaceful living rooms.

Wood and Faux Wood Blinds—Another Classic Design

 Graber wood blinds in a living room.

There’s a reason why the horizontal-blinds design continues to be the solution so many designers and homeowners turn to when decorating a living room. Real-wood blinds, like wood shutters or natural shades, bring the classic look of wood grain into the design scheme and can set the tone for the entire room. And painted wood blinds and faux-wood blinds can provide colorful accents that can brighten up the décor. On top of that, wood and faux-wood blinds are the epitome of practical: they’re endlessly adjustable, allowing you to dial in the perfect amount of light and privacy throughout the day. For an unbeatable window treatment, upgrade to a cordless or motorized set of blinds. Once you experience the ease and convenience of cordless or motorized blinds, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Drapery—A Wealth of Great Options

 Graber drapery in a living room.

Endless options. That’s pretty much the best way to describe Graber Custom Drapery. The all-new collection of premium fabrics gives you the elements you need to create the ideal living room.

One of the most classic living-room design tactics is to combine a set of sheer drapes with another set of light-filtering or room-darkening drapes. You see it in countless homes for one simple reason: it works. The combination allows for just about every light-control and privacy combination you can think of.

Increase Your Light Control By Layering

Graber layered shades paired with drapery in a living room.

One way to get a wider range of light control and privacy options is by layering your window treatments. Layering is simply combining two different kinds of window treatments on the same window. Beyond creating visual interest and adding dimension, layering allows you to reduce any light gaps and to give you more ways to control sunlight and increase privacy. For example, all shades allow some light to seep in along the sides. To solve this problem, a set of room-darkening drapes can cover these light gaps and produce a darker room. Conversely, a set of sheer drapes combined with a light-blocking roller shade gives you the option of gently filtered light when the roller shade is open.

Five Things to Consider for Living Room Window Treatments

When choosing window treatments for your living room, you should consider window location, durability, privacy and light control, safety, and style. By considering these factors, you’ll find window treatments that look great, function flawlessly, and last.

1. Window Location

 Graber roller shades in a living room.

A window located in the most prominent position in the room will be decorated differently than a window tucked away in a corner. A big picture window on the most prominent wall of a room can be an opportunity to really express your style—a luxurious set of drapes with a dramatic roller shade would make a big statement. Or, a sleek solar shade or simple cellular shade on that same window might evoke a sense of modern style that sets the tone for the entire room.

A window’s position on the outside of the home is important, too. A window that is highly visible from the street needs to be considered differently than the windows at the back of the house. When that street-visible shade or blind is closed, you’ll want to pay attention to how it looks. Even if you can’t see the outside face of your window treatments, people on the outside can. From the street, real wood blinds and unlined natural shades present a finished look with interesting textures. Other types of shades and blinds (and their liners) present a range of looks—pay attention to the options and pick one that looks aesthetically pleasing to you. Your Graber Design Expert can help you find a window treatment configuration that looks good both inside and outside your home.

2. Durability

The amount of use a window treatment is apt to receive varies from home to home. If you’re opening and closing your shades, blinds, shutters, and drapery several times a day, you’ll want something that’s both easy to use and durable. A sturdy set of shutters can take a beating, but a delicate set of sheer drapes might not put up with rough handling. You’ll also want to consider how close your windows are to foot traffic. Lots of traffic means more handling and brushing against the window treatments—and that means choosing heavier fabrics or window treatments like blinds.

3. Privacy and Light Control

 Graber sheer shades in a living room.

The two most important functions of window treatments are privacy and light control. How much privacy and light control you need depends on how you use your living room. If a view to the outdoors is of primary importance and your living room serves a very public purpose in your home—frequent guests and gatherings—you might be quite happy with sheer shades and drapery or a solar shade in a 10% openness. But, if your living room is simply your private escape where you binge watch your favorite shows, blackout fabrics might be in order.

4. Safety

 Graber cordless cellular shades in a living room.

For homes with children and pets, nothing beats cordless or motorized shades. Cordless shades work with ease, and the lack of cords looks great and creates a safer environment for everyone. Motorized shades make life even easier. So, if you’re going to have kids and pets around, consider cordless or motorized shades.

5. Style

Your window treatments should express your personal style—especially in the living room. When someone walks into your living room, they should have some idea of who you are. Does your living room reflect your personality? Is there some style improvement you could make that might better express it?

Window treatments can open up a world of personal expression by laying the groundwork for a particular interior-design style. A roller shade in a black-framed window creates the basis for a sleek, minimalist design scheme. Sheer drapes paired with heavy wood furniture and industrial fixtures can bring to life the modern farmhouse style. Combine wood blinds and wood shutters to present a sturdy, traditional feel. There are endless choices.

Living Room Window Treatments Frequently Asked Questions

Which window treatments are best for living rooms?

The term living room represents a broad category. Luckily, there’s a window-treatment solution for every situation. Living rooms where you’ll be sipping coffee in the morning sun or gazing out at a sunset are well served by solar shades or classic Roman shades. For living rooms where you’ll be entertaining guests in a more formal atmosphere, sturdy wood shutters, wood blinds, custom drapery, or natural shades might be just the element that creates the right atmosphere. A tailored Roman shade can adapt to any living room—it all depends on the fabric you choose. The huge range of fabric options available for tailored Roman shades as well as drapery make these options especially useful when trying to coordinate with other elements in the room, whether you’re creating a casual refuge or a more formal space.

What color is best for living-room window treatments?

Perhaps more than any other room in the home, the living room is an expression of who you are. The colors, the décor, the selection of design elements, the artwork—it all tells a story. Selecting a color palette is part of that story—and it goes beyond simply picking your favorite colors. A color has the power to set the mood. What mood are you trying to create? That’s the question to ask when picking a color scheme. The Graber color collections have a color for every mood. See what colors are available. Then, order free swatches.

How do you match window treatments in a living room?

A simple way to match window treatments in a living room is to use the same fabric. A great way to do this is to use a combination of tailored Roman shades and custom drapery in the same fabric. The finished room will look clean and coordinated—it’s a very elegant effect. Different fabrics can also work together, either by creating harmony or by producing a pleasant contrast. Which colors work together? That’s up to you. Trust your instincts and your eye. For example, you might find that an earthtone solar shade pairs wonderfully with a drapery in a subdued pattern in neutral colors. If it catches your eye and creates the mood that you’re trying to achieve—it’s the right combination!

How do I make my window treatments look fancier?

Layering drapery and shades is a sure-fire way to create a sense of elegance. Matching fabrics can produce a high level of sophistication. But the shades and drapery do not have to match to get this effect. For example, a simple white or off-white cellular shade combined with a set of drapes in a similar white can be quite beautiful. And window treatments like wood blinds and shutters—used alone or combined with drapery—can produce a look of sturdy elegance and formality that no other window treatments can match.

Should all window treatments in the house be the same?

Some homeowners will use the same or similar window treatments throughout their entire home to create a strong finished look or sense of unity. Often, people trying to achieve a modern style of décor will use this technique. But for most people, a range of different window treatments is the best option. That’s because every room has a different purpose. Bedrooms generally need window treatments that produce complete darkness—shades matched with light-blocking drapery or blackout cellular shades with light-blocking side channels. The same window treatments would not be appropriate for most living rooms, where maximizing light at certain points in the day is important. Also, some kitchens and bathrooms are high humidity areas best served by moisture resistant options like faux-wood blinds. There’s a window treatment for every kind of room.

The Bottom Line

Picking the right window treatment for your living room should be fun. For many people, it’s the room where you spend the most waking hours. And it’s often a place where your private life and social life converge. Treat the process of choosing colors and fabrics as an adventure. Luckily, working with your Graber Design Expert can make that adventure a pleasant one.